There are people who build better lives for themselves and their families, and then there are people like Carlos Reyes, who shares his unbelievable journey to success on this 16th episode of the Casandra Properties podcast, hosted by our CEO James Prendamano. It is our privilege to have him on the show. He’s as real as they get, dynamic, and inspiring to anyone who has the pleasure of speaking with him.
Carlos Reyes is a serial entrepreneur, motivator, and founder of "All In Nation." He has a family, lives in Phoenix, and now owns 27 businesses, seven of which gross over six figures monthly. After spending about a decade in corporate America, Carlos Reyes opened his own real estate investment company five years ago. After a year or two, he started building his other companies: software companies, solar, and medical surplus companies, and more on the way.
To say that Carlos Reyes grew up poor would be a gross understatement; he grew up in extreme poverty in Sonora, Mexico. Raised without a father, he lived with his mother, grandparents, and a brother in 350 sq. ft house. They had an outhouse in the backyard that his grandfather had built, and they bathed with buckets of water. “We had dirt roads, and dirt floors, small houses made of wood with a laminate roof. It was like living in a third world country.”
The Journey to America . . .
Carlos and his mother had fled Sonora illegally when he was a young boy – they tried to make it with the plan to send for the rest of the family but got caught. She then crossed over to California illegally by herself, started working the fields and was eventually granted amnesty. She sent for her first child once again when he was 7 or 8, but they were only able to live out there for a year and a half. “My mother literally came over through the sewer system. She finally made it to a small town on the border called Escobedo. She eventually made it to California. She came for me, and I returned with her, but we couldn’t make it out there financially. We only lasted about a year and a half, and Carlos returned to Mexico. His beloved mother was of course upset but not discouraged, and told him: “Hey, this is not the last time we’ll be in America.” Carlos Reyes never forget those words -- or his mother’s positive outlook and determination.
This time back in Mexico, Carlos started bagging groceries in fifth grade and hustling to help his mother save more money. He was in the fifth grade. She continued to work tirelessly in the fields. She had gone back to America alone now to Nogales, Arizona, just outside the border or Mexico. She was doing better this time around, and was able to send Carlos over on a Greyhound bus. Carlos when recalls that when he got to Arizona, they shared a two bedroom apartment with 12-15 other people, several entire families. He and his mother slept out in the hallway every night. At this point, Carlos said, “I’m really hustling, I’m selling chocolates, anything. Within a year we had our own apartment. A year after that, we sent for my brother. And throughout this whole time, my mother was not only working 2-3 jobs, she was working toward her citizenship, which was a very long and difficult process. Then, of course, my brother and I worked toward our citizenship – and we got them – in the greatest country on G*d’s Green earth!”
“That was my childhood,” says Carlos, “I never got to enjoy being a child.” He lets his own children, two young daughters, be free to be children, giving him of course the childhood he never had -- built from his difficult and stressful experience.
The Work Ethic . . .
“My work ethic came from a mom who held two, three jobs at a time. I remember she maxed out at $8.25 an hour. She held two jobs at the same time, both paying $8.25. One job was packing food in the food carts for the airlines, and the other was working as lunch aide in a school cafeteria. She would work the graveyard shift for the airline food – and the very next morning, she’d work in the lunch room.” My mother worked so hard for so long – we hardly saw her. “And that’s a sacrifice she made for us. And that’s the sacrifice we make for our children,” said Carlos Reyes.
“I am happy to say I was able to retire her a few years ago. I paid off her mortgage; she now has two cars. I had to pay my mother back for everything she had sacrificed for me, how hard she worked,” said Carlos Reyes.
What drove Carlos Reyes to such an incredible level of success?
“For me, and for those of you listening,” said Carlos Reyes, “I had two things that worked in my favor – adversity and I operated from a place of empowerment, watching my mother.”
“We were dirt poor. But my mother never made us feel poor. We never felt poor,” exclaims Carlos Reyes, as if realizing for the first time.
Reyes goes on to say, “My mother never told me that I could not do something. It was how she programmed me. We were on WIC, lived in public housing, and we worked hard. I didn’t get the intellectual programming that most people are able to get – or get from books, but I had a mother telling me I could be somebody strong – that I could accomplish anything I wanted to accomplish.”
My mom had that. She had that “never give up” personality. She never played the victim. And that’s why I was able to live the American Dream.”
“When you’re going through pain, stress and suffering, says Reyes, it’s life or death; it’s constant stress. Before we had become US Citizens, we were always hiding, always on the run, constant stress. That experience built a fire in me. It made me stronger. Outside of going to literal war, you could not have a more difficult experience in your life as a kid.”
“Again, that built a fire in me,” said Carlos Reyes. “There was nothing that could stress me out, as I had been through it all. Living that way, every day as a young kid, gave me like rhinoceros skin for risk and pressure. So, dropping a million dollars in real estate marketing is really nothing to me. My experience has allowed me to take those risks – and to be fearless.”
Carlos Reyes is available on Instagram and encourages you to reach out @CarlosReyes. He says he is blessed for everything he has in this life, and it is “his responsibility to be a good steward with the platform.”